Column, Rockin' The Region

Rockin’ the Region with new board members of the local Comedy Club

By DJ Dave Hoffenberg

New and exciting things are happening at the Woolen Mill Comedy Club in Bridgewater. They just named a board of directors and are starting a weekly comedy show, which will be every Saturday night at 8 p.m. Each show in April through June will feature a board member and they will add to the show as they see fit.

Submitted
Collen Doyle

In July, they’ll release their next three months of programming.

The board is comprised of individuals that have produced not just in Vermont but in New York City and various cities around the country. They include: the club’s founder Collen Doyle; Dickie B; Vicki Ferentinos; Hickory the Drunk & Underwhelming; and Matt Vita.

In the past, Collen Doyle was pretty much the sole producer so he said, “having multiple people producing now will bring a lot of different styles of shows.”

Vicki Ferentinos brings her experience in business and comedy from New York City to the table as well as Doyle and Vita who produce and perform in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Dickie B has produced on the West Coast, East Coast and toured everywhere in between, and Hickory has been instrumental in Vermont entertainment.

Besides the weekly programming there are plans for a monthly movie night, sponsored by First Stop Board Barn, showcasing a documentary or indie film. They are also working to expand their online presence with advertising and tickets available in advance. You can get all this information on their Facebook page (Woolen Mill Comedy Club).

The club has become a destination for New York’s top tier talent and recently celebrated seven years of success in its Bridgewater location. The stage has fostered many of the industry’s top new talent and is a regular destination for New York’s best comics to prep their television material.

Collen Doyle will kick off the new programming with a show on Saturday, April 2 and he’s bringing Brian Muenzer back to join him on the stage. Doyle is an entertainment professional whose career in stage and film spans a decade. As an actor he has worked on stage, television and film. Highlights include “Major Arcana” on Showtime right now. Discovering his passion for the arts at a young age, he was accepted to The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City at 18. Performing at New York’s top comedy clubs, while still in college, he has toured around the country and opened for legends such as Jim Gaffigan, Juda Friedlander and the late Charlie Murphy.

With passion for philanthropy and community, Doyle also serves on the board of directors for The Bridgewater Area Community Foundation. They’re currently working towards opening a childcare and community center.

Dickie B (who’s performing April 9) is many things to many people. He has been performing standup comedy for decades, and for a number of years he was a professional road comic on the West Coast. Dickie B. carried the torch running Bend, Oregon’s legendary “[email protected] Comedy Showcase,” and he was a regular fixture in the Portland, Oregon, comedy scene. Dickie moved back to the East Coast in 2013, and he continues to perform stand up throughout New York and New England. He also taught high school history and performing arts “to keep the lights on,” including a standup comedy course at the Maine Arts Academy. This summer, Dickie plans to roll out a live-audience news show at The Mill (similar to “The Daily Show”). Rutland’s GW Foley will be joining him on April 9.

Vicki Ferentinos (who’s performing April 16) started her comedy career almost two decades ago at the Upright Citizens Brigade in New York City. She quickly transitioned to stand up and has been seen on “Comedy Central,” “Wor Radio,” and “Food Network.” Besides comedy, Ferentinos has been a professional chef for two decades and was the winner of “Rocco’s Dinner Party” on Bravo TV. Her brand of comedy is upbeat, to the point, and honest. She writes a weekly column in The Vermont Standard called “From the Mixing Bowl,” a mix of funny stories and recipes.

Hickory the Drunk & Underwhelming (who’s performing April 23) is everyone’s favorite “intoxicated illusionist.” The “saucy sorcerer” can be found performing over the Northeast or the internet, but calls The Woolen Mill Comedy Club Home. Sipping a craft IPA and mixing a crafty blend of magic, comedy, and satire, with ample crowd participation, you’re never quite sure what the Wasted Wizard will bring to the table.

Matt Vita (who’s performing April 30) got his start in stand up comedy in New York City on the same stage as Jerry Seinfeld, at the world famous Comic Strip Live, under the tutelage of Forbes-recognized fairy godmother of comedy, Gladys Simon. He’s been a House Team performer at The Pit and his stand up even scored him a rare solo main stage performance at the last ever DCM at the now defunct UCB. He’s shared the stage with such contemporary greats as Mark Normand and has been recognized for his comedic talent by everybody from 11x World Champion surfer Kelly Slater, who’s said Vita is “super weird and awesome!” to Mark Cuban who’s been known to rush out of Madison Square Garden early to watch Vita perform. People are surprised that somebody that looks so “gnarly” can write so intelligently. He’s a great comic who will surprise you and make you think. He’s toured the Northeast extensively over the last five years, hosting and featuring in over 10 states, and has become a regular at he Mill where he recently ran his half hour headlining set to a sold out crowd.

Vita is also an actor, producer, and award-winning freestyler that has performed for and with such legends as Rahzel, Questlove, and members of the Wu-Tang Clan. Blending his love of comedy and hip hop at his weekly show Gnar Father Presents: Stand Up Comedy at Young Ethel’s in South Slope, Brooklyn, he has been ending every show with an improvised song which has consistently received standing ovations. When he’s not trying to unite the world through laughter Vita can be found surfing or snowboarding (assuming you can keep up with him deep in the trees of Vermont).

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